Black Butterfly – My First Date with the .458 SOCOM Omen

Black Butterfly Ammunition reviewAre you superstitious? Do you believe in the myth, the legend and the folklore surrounding Black Butterflies? For centuries many cultures have identified the black butterfly as a symbol of misfortune or death. The mere sight of this winged creature served as an omen of darkness for someone or something. Who or what found itself in the cross hairs of such wicked destruction tell no tales, but in the end I found myself telling the story. The massive power behind the fluttering wings of the Black Butterfly can best be explained by the founders of Black Butterfly Ammunition.

Black Butterfly Ammunition was founded in 2015 by Nick and his brother Lenny. The two brothers firmly believe that quality ammunition manufacturing has become a lost art. Each round produced is individually inspected and a random sample is shot on their private 200 yard range. Some would call this “old school”, but I call it “well-schooled”.

The two brothers entered the market with one of my favorite hunting cartridges, the 458 SOCOM. This was not by mistake, it was by design. Nick explained, “We started with the 458 SOCOM not because it was easy, because it was difficult and we wanted to do something outside the box as far as new ammo companies go…” Many industry veterans were consulted prior to getting started, including SBR Ammunition, Tromix, CMMG, Radical Firearms, Viking Armament and several others.

I contacted Black Butterfly Ammunition soon after I completed my in depth SHWAT article featuring the 458 SOCOM’s development and its use in the field. Black Butterfly has a broad range of 458 SOCOM high velocity, low velocity/subsonic, lead free and frangible loads to choose from. Nick and Lenny also expanded their research into the 450 Bushmaster and 300BLK. Pretty cool! Black Butterfly produces some high-tech proprietary rounds and it has partnered with other industry giants to diversify its 458 portfolio. I’d bet you recognize the name Barnes Bullets, Cutting Edge, Hawk Bullets and Maker Bullets!

As you can see from their website, Black Butterfly has a very impressive menu to choose from. Presented with all these choices, I struggled choosing the right bullet and grain combination for hunting wild game in Indiana and Florida. I asked Nick to help me out. We went back and forth regarding 458 loads to determine which bullet type and grain would make most sense for my 10” 458 SBR platform.   He was gracious enough to send me a few boxes to test out. In the end, we decided to go with the 260gr MAXIMUS FRACTURA High Velocity Cartridge. As the numbers showed, it performed extremely well in the 10.5” barrel and I was really impressed with Black Butterfly’s overall approach to quality, presentation and tight muzzle velocity tolerance.

Black butterfly 458 socomThe 260gr MAXIMUS FRACTURA High Velocity Cartridge produces an average muzzle velocity of 1,828 feet/second with a muzzle energy of 1,929 foot/pounds. That’s an effective wild game kill range of 190 yards considering the bullet has a .200 ballistic coefficient. That’s’ pretty impressive from a 10.5” barrel don’t you think? If you’re shooting a carbine length barrel, the muzzle velocity is approximately 1,950 feet/second and the muzzle energy is 2,196 foot/pounds, stretching out the kill yardage to 225 yards. It’s well within the maximum velocity of suppressors catering to the 458 platform, including the quiet versatility of the Bowers Group Vers 458.

The 260g MAXIMUS FRACTURA High Velocity cartridge is designed for wicked destruction. The technology behind this bullet speaks volumes of why the 458 platform is so successful in the field. The bullet creates a massive wound cavity and begins to fracture within a few inches of penetration. Each petal tumbles through the soft tissue and bone creating additional damage, but stays relatively close to the original wound cavity. I recovered a petal from a hog I shot (more on that soon!). In contrast, upon impact at longer distances, the projectile becomes a standard “mushrooming” round due to the lower velocity upon impact. The best of both worlds!

Black Butterfly for hog hunting
Petal recovered from hog

If the numbers alone didn’t scream of the Black Butterfly folklore, that video sure did it for me. Can you imagine packing this ammo on your next hunting trip? I got super excited about it; you’ll see my results in an upcoming story here on SHWAT.com. It was a dramatic finish! In the mean time, check out my SBR build that got me started on this path: 458 SOCOM: Part 1 – From Military Tech to My Personal Hunting Mini Cannon, How I Got Here

Bowers Suppressors

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